Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Separation and Self

I have a concept that's been nagging me for awhile. It dates back to a past thread and a post by another blogger that used my comments as an example of exclusion. To put a bit of background to it, someone was expressing a feeling of being left out by the Church policy of temple marriage, with a caveat that those policies should be changed somehow to include those not worthy to enter the temple. The corollary was that family (especially at weddings) was more important than the sacredness of the temple ceremony, and that by excluding people from the temple, the Church was belying its own family-oriented tenets. My comments essentially were meant to say that the Church excluded no one from the temple ceremony, but an individual's own choices excluded them. Though I see this point of view of one barred from a temple ceremony, I don't agree with it.

If I had friends or family who believed in a religion and had a very sacred ceremony that I could not attend, I'm not saying I'd skip with joy, but I'd respect their faith and not expect them to change it to suit me. I would probably not convert (since my beliefs are elsewhere,) but I would accept that it was my choice of faith that excluded me, not the faith itself. I really don't understand why blame must be fixed to the institution.

In addition, I feel that it is not of God to include everyone in everything, no matter their personal choices. In order for the orders of glory to be valuable, there must be rules set to govern those orders. Those rules must be met in order to receive the glory. It makes no more sense to admit everyone to the temple than it would to award everyone an "A" no matter the effort or answers given. If everything is rewarded equally, than there can be no measure of progression - or indeed, no progression at all. There would be no goal to reach, no standard to attain, and no real choices to make. All would be saved, yes, but that salvation would be without meaning. All would pursue their own right and wrong with no substance or direction.

In essence, all would be as Satan would have it. I wish someone who feels otherwise could explain to me why it would not be that way, rather than just rejoicing in their believed superiority of inclusion.

1 comment :

  1. Once again, SilverRain, you eloquently and precisely express my point of view on an issue that some consider controversial.

    The tenor and content of the thread that apparently prompted you to write this post is exactly the tenor and content of other threads on the Bloggernacle that eventually led me to withdraw almost completely from that often negative environment--despite the fact that there are also many very inspirational posts and comments on LDS blogs.

    Yours is such a strong, articulate voice. I hope you will continue to use it in positive forums to lift and encourage others. I believe that there are many LDS women who long to read intelligent observations from a sister who is basically supportive, rather than critical, of our doctrine, our practices, and our leadership.

    Thanks again for this post. My father-in-law never joined the Church, but he was totally supportive of my husband's decision to be married in a ceremony from which he was excluded. He took the position you described, "respect[ed our] faith and [did] not expect [us] to change it to suit [him]."

    The Book of Mormon describes very well some of the false philosophies that Satan fosters to deceive us and lead us away from truth. Many of them are quite popular today.

    It seems to be in vogue in Western countries now to be considered "spiritual" rather than "religious." To have warm, fuzzy feelings of inclusion towards mankind in general, with the ultimate destination for everyone being some sort of afterlife where all are happy, no matter how they live or what they believe.

    As you pointed out, "If everything is rewarded equally, than there can be no measure of progression - or indeed, no progression at all," and, indeed, "all would be as Satan would have it."

    Do we sometimes forget that Satan's goal is to make all men not happy, but as miserable as he now is?


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